Sage is an excellent spice for cooking. I don’t use it very often, and was reminded at how savory the spice can be when used, especially when used with vegetables, when I went to a holiday family gathering where someone has used sage as the primary spice in a delicious greenbean dish that was nutritious and had tons of flavor.
The sage flower is purples, and it almost reminds me of a salvia, and in fact I do believe it may be in the salvia family, as it has multiple buds going up the shaft of the stalk. The part of the sage plant that is used in cooking however, is not the purple flower, but rather the green part of the plant, the leaves. The flavor of sage in the rough is often bitter with a slightly sweet smell, but in cooking with it, salt and sweet spices often complement it and cut the bitterness quite a bit, so the real aroma and taste comes out.
Sage is often used in Mediterranean cooking, but is not quite as popular here in the US in our cooking for some reason. Sage is often used in sausages and meats as a wonderfully aromatic and complementary spice, and is often used in sauces to put over pasta. Now, on to the good stuff. What are the therapeutic and health benefits of sage? Well, it can be used as a stimulating tonic for the digestive tract, and has also been used in conjunction with an alcohol base as a mouthwash to help mouth sores heal faster.
Sage has been known to repel insects of many kinds, however, it attracts bees like crazy, so if you’re allergic to bees, you may want to buy your sage in the grocery store instead of growing it in your garden!